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AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WAYS: Affirmative Action around the World

with Thomas Sowellvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, May 3, 2004

In the United States, affirmative action policies, first implemented to address the historical grievances of black Americans, have long been controversial. But the debate over affirmative action has generally ignored such action as practiced by other countries around the world. Has affirmative action proven to be more or less effective in other countries? What common patterns do these programs share? How can the study of these programs help our understanding of affirmative action in America?

TRADING PLACES: Is Outsourcing Good for America?

with Stephen Haber, Kenneth L. Judd, Harley Shaikenvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, March 26, 2004

Does outsourcing—whether it means the transfer of customer service and high-tech jobs to India or of manufacturing jobs to China—benefit the American economy or harm it? And if American workers are being harmed by outsourcing, what should be done about it? Do we need legislation to prevent corporations from sending jobs overseas? Or should we focus our attention on creating new opportunities for the American labor force through education and job training?

IRAQ OF AGES: The United States and the Future of Iraq

with Michael McFaul, Donald Emmerson, Joseph Nyevia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, March 26, 2004

On July 1, the Coalition Provisional Authority—the body headed by U.S. ambassador Paul Bremer that has governed Iraq since the end of the Iraq war—will transfer sovereignty to a temporary Iraqi government. The transfer of power raises a number of hard questions. Will our attempts at nation building in this ethnically and religiously divided country succeed? Just what are our responsibilities in ensuring that success? And how long will or should the United States maintain a military presence in Iraq?

FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE: Global Poverty and the World Bank

with Douglass C. North, James Wolfensohnvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Of the 6 billion people on earth, 1 billion—primarily in North America, Europe, and East Asia—receive 80 percent of the global income. Meanwhile more than 1 billion people subsist on less than one dollar a day. Despite billions in development aid, many Third World nations are no better off than they were half a century ago. Why are developing countries still so poor? And what can international development agencies such as the World Bank do to help?

MIGRATION HEADACHE: President Bush's Immigration Plan

with Tamar Jacoby, Mark Krikorianvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, March 3, 2004

It is estimated that currently there are between 7 and 10 million illegal immigrants in this country. Meanwhile the Border Patrol has grown from a staff of 2,000 and a $100 million budget 30 years ago to 11,000 men and women and a $9 billion budget today. Clearly, our attempts to control illegal immigration have not been working. But what should we do instead? President Bush has proposed a new immigration plan that would turn illegal immigrants already here into legal temporary workers. Is his plan an acknowledgment that our economy needs cheap immigrant labor and that we simply can't control our borders any longer? Or is his plan the entirely wrong way to address the immigration problem?

HEAVEN CAN WAIT: Is the Pledge of Allegiance Unconstitutional?

with Erwin Chemerinsky, Douglas W. Kmiecvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, February 20, 2004

Is the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional? The original pledge, written in 1892 by the Christian socialist Francis Bellamy, did not contain the words "under God." Congress added these two words in 1954. And it is these words that caused the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to rule in June 2002 that recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in schools violated the First Amendment's so-called separation of church and state. Now the case is before the Supreme Court. Will the Court rule that reciting the current pledge in schools is okay, or do the words "under God" have to go?

DOWN BY LAW: Military Detainees in the War on Terror

with Erwin Chemerinsky, John Yoovia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, February 20, 2004

Do enemy combatants in the war on terror have any legal rights? The United States now holds more than 650 persons captured during the war on terrorism at our naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba. The government is holding them indefinitely, without charging them and without offering them access to American courts or legal counsel. Is this legal? Do federal courts have jurisdiction in this matter, or do these detainees exist completely outside of the American legal system?

A SLAVE TO THE SYSTEM? Thomas Jefferson and Slavery

with Jack Rakove, Garry Willsvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, January 19, 2004

When the Constitution of the United States was ratified in 1789, the infamous "three-fifths clause" gave the southern slaveholding states disproportionate power within the federal government. To what extent did this southern advantage help the southerner Thomas Jefferson win the presidency? And to what extent did Jefferson, author of the phrase "all men are created equal," use the power of his presidency to preserve and perpetuate the institution of slavery?

ROCK MY WORLDVIEW: How to Win the War on Terror

with Ken Jowitt, David Frumvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, January 19, 2004

Do the neoconservatives know how to win the war on terror? Much has been made of the influence within the Bush administration of neoconservatives—those who tend to take a hard line in the war on terror and who favored the war in Iraq. Recently two men close to the Bush administration, Richard Perle and David Frum, wrote a book laying out the neoconservative agenda for winning the war on terror and making America safe. Their agenda is bold and ambitious. Critics would say it is reckless and dangerous. Who's right?

ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL: The Separation of Church and State

with Douglas W. Kmiec, Garry Willsvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, January 6, 2004

The First Amendment of the Constitution declares in part that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." What did this amendment mean to the founders who wrote it? Did they intend to establish an inviolate "wall of separation between church and state"? Or was their intent instead to merely preserve religious freedom and prevent the establishment of a national religion?

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